Ida-Viru County to receive a EUR 600,000 cash injection


Startup Estonia and the Ministry of Finance signed a contract to contribute EUR 661,100 over the next three years to the further development of the Ida-Viru County start-up network, to increasing the entrepreneurship of the people of Ida-Viru County, and to the emergence of new start-ups in the region.

Ida-Virumaa programmi raames on kolme eelneva aasta jooksul rahastamist saanud 23 erinevat organisatsiooni
Ida-Virumaa programmi raames on kolme eelneva aasta jooksul rahastamist saanud 23 erinevat organisatsiooni

According to Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab, the development of start-up entrepreneurship in the region from the funds of the Ida-Viru County programme is a priority for the regional field, to offer the county with one of the largest populations in Estonia, but with a high level of emigration among young people, an attractive alternative to moving to Tallinn, Tartu, or abroad altogether.

‘The aim is not only to offer modern opportunities for personal fulfilment to locals, but to make the whole of Ida-Viru an attractive place to start a new business for those coming from outside as well,’ the Minister noted. ‘Together with the activities of the kood/Jõhvi coding school supported by the Ida-Viru programme and the Just Transition Fund in the direction of new entrepreneurship, we can send a clear message that active people and ideas are welcome, and opportunities await locals and newcomers alike,’ Aab added.

According to Eve Peeterson, Head of Startup Estonia, the pilot programme for developing the ecosystem of start-ups in Ida-Viru County, initiated at the end of 2018, proved its necessity and effectiveness, and the new contract allows the started activities to continue, develop further, and support new initiatives. ‘With the help of the programme, initiatives and support organisations supporting entrepreneurship gained momentum in Ida-Viru County, a comprehensive ecosystem for the establishment and development of start-ups was created, and new entrepreneurial teams and companies also emerged. I am glad that at the end of the programme, the initiated activities will not come to a halt, and that in cooperation with our partners we will be able to develop them further over the next few years,’ Peeterson said.

The contract concluded between the Ministry of Finance and Startup Estonia allocates a total of EUR 661,100 from the state budget in 2022–2025.

Anželika Pratkunas, Project Manager for the Ida-Viru region at Startup Estonia, said that the continuation of the programme is very welcome. For, although a lot of work was completed in previous years, we are still at the beginning of a great journey today. ‘In addition to an idea, the founders of start-ups also need a functioning support network to build up their company, and if we look at the life cycle of a start-up, it is very important that we do not leave any potential teams without aid, regardless of their stage of development. Our goal is to be an active member of the start-up community in Ida-Viru County and to help raise more and more talent and enterprising people,’ said Pratkunas, adding that the positive impact of the programme can also be seen in the much more distant future. ‘Ida-Viru County is a region with great potential for the development of start-up entrepreneurship, but in order to raise an enterprising generation, change attitudes and further develop a functioning ecosystem, it is necessary to continue determined work in the region,’ she added.

Within the framework of the Ida-Viru County programme, 150 events have been organised in the past three years, in which 17,000 people participated. Funding has been granted to 23 different organisations whose activities are aimed at developing the entrepreneurship of young people, creating start-up initiatives and the regional start-up ecosystem. Today, according to the database managed by Startup Estonia, there are 13 start-ups operating in Ida-Viru County, but at the beginning of the programme there were only two start-ups operating.

The programme has contributed to the opening of the Narva Creative Incubator OBJEKT and the expansion of The Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol to Ida-Viru County, the creation of the Edukoht programming school and the ENSKIED incubator for young people, as well as to the creation of other initiatives in the region. The Startup Estonia Ida-Viru programme has active supporters among representatives of the largest cities and among educational institutions in Ida-Viru County.